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Report: marching bands will carry huge price tag for national title game


Y’all already know how we feel about the ridiculous ticket allotment many bowls force the two bowl-bound schools to purchase. For BCS bowls, those allotments are usually around the 17,000 number.

The school — and their conference, depending on the policy — ends up having to absorb whatever tickets aren’t sold. But at least with fan purchases there’s a chance, albeit slim, for a return on investment. One area where there’s zero return is paying the expense for what supposedly makes the bowl experience, well, an experience.

The bands and cheerleaders.

The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that LSU projects to spend somewhere just under $450,000 to send its band and cheerleaders to New Orleans for three days for the BCS national championship. That’s $450k in travel, lodging, meals and tickets — 529 tickets for the marching band to be precise. At $350 a pop.

“We want the band there, but they take up 500 tickets,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said. “We have to buy those tickets, and tickets for this game are unbelievably expensive.”

Alabama didn’t reveal the costs associated with sending their band and cheerleaders to the game (although a UA representative said the school needed 539 seats), but the Advocate figures that number to be similar.

To summarize, that’s nearly 1,100 seats and $1 million in essentially sunk costs.

“If we spend more, it’s our fault,”  Alleva said. “If we spend less, we make money.”

True. The bowls often force schools to purchase ticket allotments; they do not, however, dictate how a school must use that allotment.

“But in a lot of bowl games, it’s a losing deal.”

Ding ding ding!

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9 Responses to “Report: marching bands will carry huge price tag for national title game”
  1. wustlumdnj says: Dec 26, 2011 4:32 PM

    A million dollars could save *a lot* of lives from hunger and poverty

  2. chmba says: Dec 26, 2011 5:14 PM

    Just one more reason why the BCS needs to go away!

  3. huskersrock1 says: Dec 26, 2011 5:29 PM

    “A million dollars could save *a lot* of lives from hunger and poverty”

    Why don’t you go and do a 50 cent a day commercial.

  4. imaduffer says: Dec 26, 2011 5:40 PM

    How far is Baton Rouge from New Orleans? What do they fly through Atlanta or Dallas to get there? What a joke.

  5. jdillydawg says: Dec 26, 2011 5:45 PM

    This is the exact reason why marijuana should be legal. For generations, high school bands have been traveling and paying for their expenses through the long-loved tradition of bake sales.

    For this kind of price tag, a higher profit margin is needed, thus the addition of hash brownies to the lineup of chocolate chip cookies and rice krispie treats!

    Besides, I think I’d understand how this whole bowl thing works if I were more stoned…

  6. wustlumdnj says: Dec 27, 2011 12:00 AM

    I know, my comment was a bit cheesy; I was just trying to put things in perspective. The fact of the matter is the way the bowl system sets schools up for these obscene costs is nothing short of a sham. In the end, America loses. In so many ways.

  7. Pac12Ute says: Dec 27, 2011 4:49 AM

    I would feel terrible for the schools and upset at the BCS, but the Forbe’s most valuable university list has LSU at #4 and Alabama at #6. I think they’ll manage to scrape the money together without having to sell too many cookies and brownies.

  8. romoscollarbone says: Dec 27, 2011 3:04 PM

    Don’t forget you get like 17 mil if you win the game.

  9. bghamby says: Dec 30, 2011 1:31 AM

    In college I was in the Best Damn Band in the Land (also known as the Cal Band) and we went to a couple of bowls while I was there, pre-BCS days. The first one we had to bus to go to, because they didn’t have enough money in the budget to fly us (the cheerleaders got to fly with the team, though, but I’m not bitter). The second one we got to fly because it had a bigger payout for the school. In both bowls, as I recall, we were also limited as to how many band members were allowed to go, but it was pretty close to the full band.

    On the comment about getting money if you win – both schools get money regardless of who wins.

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